Tine Walravens

  Tine Walravens


2018 – present   Doctor Assistant, Department of Languages and Cultures in Ghent University, Belgium

2012 – 2018         Academic Assistant, Department of Languages and Cultures in Ghent University, Belgium


2012 – 2018            PhD Candidate in Japanese Studies at Ghent University, Belgium (Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Andreas Niehaus)

Dissertation: ‘Trust-breakers or trust-makers: Institutional efforts after food-related incidents in Japan’  (defended 2018)

2010  – 2011           Japanese studies - Political and Social Sciences (MEXT student), Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan

2010                        Intensive Summer School European Integration, Universitetet i Agder, Kristiansand, Norway

2008-2010             BA in Oriental Languages and Cultures – Japanese Studies, Ghent University, Belgium (Awarded Great Distinction)

2006 – 2007          Chinese Language and Culture (1 year exchange program), Xiamen University, China

2002 – 2006          BA - MA in Oriental Languages and Cultures – Chinese Studies, Ghent University, Belgium  (Awarded Great Distinction)              

Research focus and interests

  • Food safety and its regulation in Japan and East Asia
  • Trust and risk communication
  • National cuisines and identity politics in East Asia
  • Societal aspects of food biotechnology and Genetically Modified Organisms


  •  ‘A sacred cuisine? Questioning the UNESCO’s enlisting of washoku as intangible cultural heritage’, in Rots, A., Teeuwen, M. (eds): Sacred Heritage (in preparation).
  •  ‘Risk communication as trust-building in post-Fukushima Japan.’, Journal of Risk Analysis (in preparation) (co-authored with Nicolai Ahrenkiel and Paul O’Shea)
  •  ‘Consuming the nation. Converging interests for the local and the national behind the chisan chisho (local production, local consumption) campaign’, Journal of Japanese Studies (revise and resubmit) (co-authored with Hanno Jentzsch)
  • Food Safety in East Asia Revisited: 30 Years after Ulrich Beck's Risk Society’ (co-authored with Stephanie Assmann) (in preparation).


  • ‘Recalibrating risk through media. Two cases of intentional food poisoning in Japan compared’, Food & Foodways (forthcoming).


  • Feeding Japan: The Cultural and Political Issues of Dependency and Risk. London: Macmillan (co-edited with Andreas Niehaus).
  •  ‘Introduction’, in Niehaus, A., Walravens, T. (eds): Feeding Japan: The Cultural and Political Issues of Dependency and Risk. London: Macmillan.
  • ‘Chinese Food Threatening the Japanese Table: Changing Perceptions of Imported Chinese Food in Japan’, in Niehaus, A., Walravens, T. (eds): Feeding Japan: The Cultural and Political Issues of Dependency and Risk. London: Macmillan.


  • ‘Food Safety and Regulatory Change Since the Mad Cow in Japan. Science, Self-Responsibility and Trust’, Contemporary Japan 29, 1.
  •  “Even if it is Just a Little Help for the Victims from the Distant Belgium”: Japanese Nationals in Belgium and the 3/11 Triple Disaster’, in Tagsold, Christian; Niehaus Andreas (ed.): Diaspora and Disaster: Japanese outside Japan and the Triple Catastrophe of March 2011. Düsseldorf: DUP 2015. Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung?, Vol. 1. Pp.37-60 (co-authored with Andreas Niehaus).


  • ‘Homework.  Post-Fukushima Constructions of Furusato: the Case of Japanese Nationals Living in Belgium’, in Klaus Stierstorfer, Florian Kläger (eds), Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging, Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter. Pp. 123-146 (co-authored with Andreas Niehaus).


  • ‘Diversifying narratives: Perceptions of a weak Japan facing a rising China’, in Dessein, B., Ed., Interpreting China as a Regional and Global Power: Nationalism and Historical Consciousness in World Politics, London: Palgrave Macmillan.  Pp. 120-141.


  • ‘Japan Facing a Rising China: Implications on the Dynamics of Identity Formation.  Food safety as a framework.’,  Acta Asiatica Varsoviensia, No. 26, Warsaw: Askon Publishers. Pp. 115-133.

Teaching experience and training

Ghent University 

  • 2012 – present: Modern Japanese I – VI (BA I-III), Modern Japanese: Language, Text, Context I-II (MA)
  • 2012 – present: Society and Current Affairs: Japan (BA II-III)

                                EU-East Asia Relations (Faculty of Political and Social Science) (MA)

  • 2007 Classical Chinese I, II (BA I)

Lille University (France) 

  • 2016-2017 Modern Japanese Society through Food (BA III)

CVO Roeselare

  • 2007-2009 Modern Chinese I, III (adult education)

Guest lectures and workshops


  • ‘Constructing a Japanese national cuisine. From the Meiji restoration to globalization.’, Contemporary Japanese and Korean Societies (MA) Lund University, Lund, Sweden, January 27
  • ‘Dangerous dumplings and poisoned frozen foods: Chinese 'food terrorism' in Japanese media.’, East Asian Lunch Seminar, Oslo University, Oslo, Norway, January 26


  • ‘Consuming the Nation. Gastrodiplomacy and food challenges for Japan.’, Introduction to Food Studies (BA), Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, July 4
  • ‘Chinese food intruding the Japanese table. Understanding the Chinese food threat in Japan.’, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, June 23
  • ‘”Both men and nation stand on food.” Culinary nationalism and the politics of food in Japan.’, Global History (BA), Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan, June 20  


  • ‘Consuming the nation. Japanese culinary nationalism and the Chinese food threat’, Modern Global History (BA), City University of New York, New York, USA, March 30, 2014                         
  • ‘Korean-Japanese relations: Conflict, controversy and cooperation’, Scientific Training Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium, February 25         


  • Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen (Germany), European Spring/Fall Academy: yearly contributor on Sino-Japanese relations (with Ritsumeikan University, Hitotsubashi University and Centre International de Formation Européenne)

Teaching education

2017: Teaching Assistant Training, Doctoral Schools, Ghent University

2014: Japanese Language Teaching Workshop (2 weeks), Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan

International research experience and specialist education

Research stays


  • Visiting research student, Keio University, Tokyo, Japan (one year)


  • Visiting researcher, Faculty of Humanities, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan (3 months)

Specialist education


  • PhD Specialist Course (2 weeks) ‘Food, health and philosophy in East and West’, University of Hong Kong– Copenhagen University, Graduate School of Health and Medical Sciences


  • PhD Specialist Course (2 weeks) ‘Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology’, International Plant Biotechnology Outreach, VIB, Ghent University, Belgium


  • 11th EAJS PhD Workshop, University of Edinburgh, UK


  • PhD Winter School (1 week) ‘Place based approaches in regional development’, Social Sciences Unit of the Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Gent, Belgium

Scholarships and external funding awarded

2017                          Carlsberg Foundation, full funding for a 2 weeks PhD Specialist Course in China and Hong Kong

2015                          Japan Foundation and Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO-Flanders), funding for the organisation of the international conference ‘Emotionalizing the nation:  Conflicting narratives in Japanese food identities’ (together with Prof. Andreas Niehaus)

2015                          Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbukagakusho), full funding for one year of research at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan

2015                          European Association for Japanese Studies, full funding for the EAJS Doctoral Workshop, Edinburgh University, UK

2014                          Hokkaido University, full funding, 2 weeks Japanese language teaching workshop, Sapporo, Japan

2013                          Commission Scientific Research from Ghent University, full funding for a research stay (3 months) at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

2010                          Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbukagakusho), full funding for one year study at Nagasaki University, Japan

2010                          Jean Monnet Program, EU Commission, partial funding Summer School European Integration, Universitetet i Agder, Kristiansand, Norway

2006                         Chinese Scholarship Council and the Flemish Government, full funding for one year study at Xiamen University, China


Organization of international conferences


  • Emotionalizing the nation: Conflicting narratives in Japanese food identities. (Ghent University, in cooperation with Hokkaido University), July 1-3


  • China's Rise: Geopolitical Developments and Their Consequences for Global Stability, March 28-29


  • Transnational Responses to Catastrophe: Japanese Diaspora Communities and the March 2011 Triple Disaster. (Ghent University, in cooperation with Düsseldorf and Kobe University), June 23-24



  • ‘‘Beyond sushi, tempura and sashimi. Questioning washoku as intangible cultural heritage’, Oslo University, Dec 1
  •  ‘Building trust or talking risk? The food safety debate on mad cows, frozen dumplings and raw liver in Japan’, EAJS conference, Lisbon, Portugal, Sept 1
  •  ‘Negotiating food safety. Post-incident governmental risk communication in Japan’, NAJS conference, Stockholm, Sweden, May 16
  • ‘Risk perception related to genetically modified foods in China’, PhD Course in Food, Health and Philosophy, Hong Kong – China, April 8


  • ‘Food safety and regulatory change since the mad cow in Japan’, Joint East Asian Studies Conference, SOAS, University of London, UK, Sept 6


  • ‘Chinese food at the Japanese table. Identity conflicts in regional food networks.’, International Conference of Asia-Pacific Studies, National Sun Yat-Sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Nov 12
  • ‘Self-responsibility and the individualization of food safety risk in Japanese society’, Meeting of the German-Japanese Society for Social Sciences, DIJ Tokyo, Japan, Oct 9
  •  ‘Appetite for the domestic. Food terrorism in Japan and recalibrating risk in media’, Trusting the Hand that Feeds you, Social & Cultural Food Studies Network, Free University Brussels, Belgium, Sept 5
  • ‘The rise of the Chinese ‘food threat’: An alternative account’ (with Paul O’Shea, Aarhus University), Food, Feeding and Eating In and Out of Asia, Copenhagen University, Denmark, June 24-26
  • ‘Hungry for the Chinese food threat? Changing Perceptions of imported Chinese food in Japan.’, Consumer Advocacy and Food Safety in Asia, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, May 18-19 (on invitation)
  •  ‘Polluting bilateral relations: the impact of China-related food incidents on Japanese risk perception.’, AAS Conference, Chicago, USA, March 26-29 (Association of Asian Studies)
  •  ‘The rise of the Chinese ‘food threat’: An alternative account’ (with Paul O’Shea, Aarhus University), Nordic Association of Japanese Studies Annual Conference, Lund University, Sweden, March 5-6


  • ‘Of Poison and Pesticides. Behind the negative image of imported Chinese foods in Japan’, European Association for Japanese Studies Conference, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia, Aug 26 - 30
  •  ‘A Sweet and Sour Aftertaste. Social and Political Dynamics in the Perception of Chinese Food in Japan.’, Sino-Japanese Relations Research Network Conference, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK, July 8


  • ‘Post-Fukushima constructions of furusato: the case of Japanese nationals living in Belgium’, Diasporic Constructions of Home and Belonging, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany, Sept 22-25                
  • ‘Japan Facing a Rising China: Implications on the Dynamics of Identity Formation.  Food safety as a framework.’, Researching Japan in Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsawa, Poland, April 24-25
  • ‘The rise of China and implications for Japanese national identity formation’, China's Rise: Geopolitical Developments and Their Consequences for Global Stability, Ghent University, March 28

Internships and professional experience outside academia

2011-2012               Intern, European Commission, DG Trade, Unit B2/C1 Trade Relations with the Far East, Brussels, Belgium

2011                          Research intern, Policy Analysis & Recommendations, EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, Tokyo, Japan

2009-2010              Intern, Research assistant, Benelux Chamber of Commerce, Beijing, China

2007-2009              Self-employed translator/interpreter Chinese – Japanese – English - Dutch

Main administrative responsibilities at Ghent University

  • General administrative tasks
  • Assistance on bilateral agreements with partner universities in Japan (Nagasaki University, Kyushu University, Hokkaido University)
  • Organization of study tours to Japan by Ghent University in 2009, 2012, 2014
  • Organization of the European Spring Academy in Ghent, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Organization of Japanese students visit (Kyushu University European Union Institute Japan, 2013, 2014; Ritsumeikan University, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)
  • Student counseling
  • Advising and grading Master dissertations and student papers


Public services

  • Japanese translations for VRT (Belgian National Television – Flanders)
  • Interviews for Flemish newspapers and radio (e.g. Knack, De Standaard, De Morgen, Radio 2, etc.) on Japan, Sino-Japanese relations, the Triple Disaster of March 11, 2011, Japan-South Korea relations …
  • Assistance on art project by photographer Titus Simoens in China (Chinese translation), 2013